Apparently we’re all turning our back on faggots and junket. Can’t say I’m hugely surprised as I can’t see many people settling down to squirrel casserole (think of all the bones) instead of a nice Green Curry or a Lasagne.
I have eaten quite a few things on the list: jugged hare, brawn, pan haggerty, faggots, bread and dripping, Dorset dumplings, Lardy cake, Simnel cake and spotted dick and I have to say the only one I remember with great fondness was spotted dick. I think that’s mostly because it was one of the few edible foods served at my school.
Does it really matter that we’re not eating as much offal? I personally can’t stand the stuff but I do take the point that a lot of perfectly edible meat is being discarded as it’s not viable for abattoirs to devote the man hours to actually preparing cuts that used to be more popular.
I suspect it would be a brave soul that actually took on the task of trying to popularise tripe or brawn. As consumers we’ve become so disconnected from the food we eat that children don’t realise chips are made from potatoes and cows produce milk. We also choose not to think about meat. To many people, meat comes in plastic packets from the supermarket and although we know there used to be an animal involved, we prefer not to think about it. I’m sure that’s part of the reason that liver, kidney, tongue and so on just don’t feature in many families’ meal repertoire. That would be admitting that the animal you are eating has the same organs as you.
I am not a rampant veggie – far from it. I will eat almost anything with two or four legs. But meat and fish are precious commodoties and should not be sold cheaply. If you buy a six pack of chicken breasts for £2.99 then I hate to tell you but you are eating crap, supporting cruel farming practice and playing your part in unsustainable production methods which lead to disease. So perhaps we should rediscover some of these old dishes and use more of the animal, having said that I don’t think anyone could persuade me that calf’s foot jelly is a good idea.